Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Girls Love Travis Walker by Anne Pfeffer

Girls Love Travis Walker
Girls Love Travis Walker
Author: Anne Pfeffer
Release Date: March 15, 2013
Pages: 323, eBook
Goodreads Rating: 3.92 stars
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Content Rating: R (Language and sexual content)

Summary from Goodreads: To nineteen-year-old high school dropout Travis Walker, women are like snowflakes--each one different, but beautiful in her own way.

He can charm any girl he meets, and yet down deep he fears he'll always be a loser like his jailbird father. As the landlady threatens to evict him and his sick mother, Travis takes a job he hates and spends his evenings picking up girls at a nearby night spot.

When he enlists in a teen program at the local fire station, he finds out he’s amazing at it. Then he meets the smoking hot Kat Summers, enlists Kat’s friend Zoey to help him woo her, and falls in love for the first time ever. 

But he keeps the details of his life secret. His girl will never love him back if she knows the truth about him…


I saw this book on a blog that I follow (I wish I could remember which one, but I just can't) and the review that I read was so compelling that I had to immediately go and buy the book on Amazon.  Still, it was outside of my normal genre and I had so many books that I needed to read for reviews that I just didn't get to it right away.  How to solve the problem?  Sign up for a blog tour so that the book would go to the top of my To-Read list!  I'm so glad that I did! I LOVED this book!!

Why I loved it:
  • Travis Walker.  I have to admit that I was worried when I started the book.  Travis comes off as an arrogant womanizer at first and I thought, "Really, I'm supposed to love this guy?"  But it didn't take long before I started to realize that Travis' arrogance is really just a cover for a whole host of insecurities and a mask for the pain he feels because his life is crumbling around him.  Travis works hard to keep his life together, both for himself and for his mother, but no matter how hard he tries and no matter what he does, he can't seem to pull it all together.  And, worse, he feels like maybe he doesn't deserve any happiness at all - that maybe he is destined to follow in the footsteps of his felon father and that there is nothing he can do about it.  Travis is fighting for control of a life that is completely out of control, so he hides behind his arrogance and his cool guy persona.  Still, he's broken and he's terrified to share that brokenness with anyone.  The further into the story I got, the more I related to Travis and I felt for him.
  • The fire station storyline.  If you had asked me if I would really enjoy reading a book where one of the major subplots takes place in a student firefighters program, I would have said, "Um. No."  I honestly wouldn't have thought that it would be that interesting.  But, it was.  I loved hearing about their training program and all of the crazy drills that they did and I especially loved how Travis began to gain a sense of self-worth because of this program.  This subplot also provided suspense because you knew that this one perfect part of Travis' life was likely to implode (for reasons that I won't spoil).
  • The romance.  It was so refreshing to read a book where the romance wasn't built on insta-love!  This relationship felt real and it felt earned.  Travis grew as a person because of the relationship before it even became a romance - loved this!  And, while it was frustrating to see Travis mess up with the one person who really seemed to understand him, it just made you ache for him that much more and want everything to turn out okay.  I also loved that, while the relationship was definitely central to the book, this was not a story ONLY about a relationship.  The romance was just one element in a complete story.
  • The tears.  Yep, let me tell you that I totally cried like a baby during the last quarter of this book.  The things that were happening to Travis were so completely heart-wrenching that I almost couldn't stand it.  There were honestly a few times that I wanted to yell, "Travis, come on!  You could save yourself all this pain if you would just let someone into your life!  Tell someone what's going on!"  But, the character was so well drawn that I could honestly understand why he wouldn't do it - he was just too certain and too scared that he would lose everything - it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I was so absorbed in Travis' pain that I absolutely could not put the book down until I was finished (at 1:30 in the morning).  I like a book that makes me cry for all the right reasons.  This definitely did that!

What I didn't love:
  • The title and cover.  The title and cover of this book just do not do it justice.  Honestly, if I hadn't read a raving review about it, I probably would never have picked the book up.  Girls Love Travis Walker just sounds like a fluff novel about a guy you're not really going to care about and the coolio kid in his sunglasses doesn't really help to dispel that undeserved image.  Obviously, I felt like the book WAY outshone its title and cover, so don't let them fool you!
So, if you haven't figured it out by now, I was a BIG fan of this book.  It was emotional and heart-wrenching in all the right ways and I find myself still thinking about it days later (especially about how the book handled homelessness).  At the current $0.99 price point on Amazon, this book has got to be the bargain of the year!  5/5 Stars.

**Disclosure: This book was provided by the author (although I had forgotten at the time that I had already purchased it!) in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***


Anne Pfeffer is the author of Any Other Night and The Wedding Cake Girl.  She lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Twitter @AnnePfeffer1


  1. Glad to hear that the book cover and title don't do it justice. I would have said "pass" on it except for your review of it. Sounds like a good one, thanks.

    1. Yes, this is one case where you definitely should not judge a book by its cover!

  2. OMG!! I love all Travis' and I want to know this one too!! Awesome review, I love the arrogant guy who changes once you get to know him!!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  3. Hey Nicole! I loved this too! ;) I think this is one of the best NA novels ever written. It was so realistic, wasn't it?

    Nina @ The Bookish Confections

  4. Thanks for introdicing me to this book. I came across the book and read it the other day. And loved it

    1. Yay!! So glad you loved it! This is one book that I want to tell everyone about!!